The Care Act is designed to help make care and support more consistent across the country. The introduction of new legislation will be staged, with some changes being introduced over a two year period.
Care and support is the term we use to describe the help some adults need to live a swell as possible with any illness or disability they have. It can include help with things like washing, dressing, eating, getting out and about and keeping in touch with family and friends.
Whether people are receiving support at home or living in a care home, the new national changes are designed to put them in control.
The first changes come into force on 1 April 2015 with the government introducing a new national level of eligibility criteria for people to access care. We will make sure that people on the Island can easily get details of the new national levels on our website and through updates.
There will also be new rights for carers to receive support and there will be changes to the deferred payment agreements for people who want to use the value of their property to pay for residential care.
From 2016, changes will relate to the way people pay for care and support. At present, proposed changes include a lifetime cap on the amount people pay for care and extended financial support for people with certain needs. However, these changes will be consulted on before being implemented.
The changes mean that there will be different ways to pay for care and support so people should not have to sell their home in their lifetime to pay for care. People receiving care and support will also have more say over what sort of help they get.
Much of the Care Act reflects and builds on many of the council’s existing policies and practices, however some areas are completely new, such as the cap on care costs, and require a great deal of preparation to implement.
Residents currently receiving care and support from the council do not need to do anything differently, they will be contacted by the council if the Care Act changes affect them.
The government has launched a national advertising campaign, highlighting the forthcoming changes. Locally, the Isle of Wight Council has compiled a range of information about the Care Act on its website which will be regularly updated as work to implement the changes progresses. Information can be found at: www.iwight.com/careact
Councillor Steve Stubbings, Executive member for adult social care and community wellbeing, said:
“The Care Act has huge implications for the Isle of Wight Council and we are working very hard to prepare for the changes in 2015 and 2016. There is no doubt that many residents will benefit from the changes in legislation, however it will also place huge financial pressures on the local authority at a time when levels of government funding available to us for work in this area are reducing.”
Government information about the Care Act can be found at: www.gov.uk/careandsupport